California Floristics 2
Saturday, October 22 at 1:00-2:40 pm, Fir Room
*note alternate instance of this session – Saturday at 10am
Session Description: The field of floristics covers the range of studies focused on documenting and understanding the components of the flora of a local area, a county, regions, to the entire state, and beyond. Floristics covers the basic components that support a wide range of disciplines, from basic science to land use planning. Without understanding the flora, we are just guessing as to what the flora of a given area is, including the common and rare species. This session includes results of local floristic studies, taxonomic changes or considerations of specific taxonomic groups, and different methods and tools to conduct floristic research.
Session Chairs: David Magney (CNPS, Floristics Specialist, Sacramento, CA, USA) and Nina House (California Botanic Garden, Claremont, CA, USA)
42.1 Biodiversity in California’s native trees and the planting of natives in the urban forest
Matt Ritter (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA; CNPS [Statewide Board Member]), Cami Pawlak (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA), Natalie Love (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA), and Jenn Yost (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA)
The state of California is a spectacular location worldwide for trees, with the most massive (Sequoiadendron giganteum), tallest (Sequoia sempervirens), and oldest lived (Pinus longaeva) species on the planet. The state is home to highly diverse habitats, including Mediterranean forests and woodlands, temperate steppe, desert woodlands, and montane forests with 112 tree species. Here we present the first comprehensive list of those species, GIS native range maps, a heat map showing species density, and an analysis of tree diversity in different geographic areas in California. We analyze statewide endemism in trees (26 species) and other biogeographical patterns of diversity in conifers (nearly half of California’s native tree species), pines, and oaks. We overlay native tree diversity with the state’s known urban locations (primarily coastal Mediterranean central and southern California) to help inform the future planting of region-specific native trees in urban forests.
42.2 Facilitating California plant conservation through the Jepson Flora Project
Jason Andrew Alexander (University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA), Bruce Baldwin (University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA), and Brent Mishler (University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA)
The Jepson Flora Project (JFP) is a broad collaboration among California botanists, based at the Jepson Herbarium at the University of California, Berkeley, which has evolved over the past quarter-century to ensure that accurate, scientifically informed data on Californian plant systematics is readily available to the botanical community. Since 2012, a free, online California flora – the Jepson eFlora – has been revised continually. This living floristic resource allows the JFP to incorporate new plant discoveries into floristic treatments much more quickly than would be possible in print format and to prioritize revisions that incorporate newly documented minimum-rank taxa (species, subspecies, and varieties) of special conservation importance. This prioritization is important in part so that field and herbarium botanists can identify recently documented native and naturalized plants for California that might otherwise escape detection during scientific and conservation-related studies or surveys. The utility of the Jepson eFlora is enhanced with the integration of georeferenced records, which allow users to compare the species ranges published in the eFlora with the distribution of herbarium specimens. A new Consortium of California Herbaria portal (CCH1) is specialized for presenting highly curated specimen data about the California vascular flora. CCH1 now incorporates searchable fields from the eFlora, further enhancing the data interconnectivity between these two resources. These and future changes will increase the ability for users to investigate California plant diversity. Integration of detailed knowledge of systematics, phylogeny, and distributions (e.g., as performed in recent spatial phylogenetic analyses using Jepson eFlora and CCH1 data) is an example of the values added by regionally focused floristic projects, which fill important niches in national and global conservation strategies.
42.3 Creating a local flora using the CCH2 Checklist: an example from Caspers Wilderness Park, Orange County, California
Michael G. Simpson (Department of Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA), Robert L. Allen (California Native Plant Society, Orange County, Irvine, CA, USA), Rebecca Crowe (UCI Herbarium, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA), Fred Roberts (California Botanic Garden, Claremont, CA, USA), Ron Vanderhoff (California Native Plant Society, Orange County, Irvine, CA, USA)
A Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park, Orange County, California, was recently finalized. Our goal was to have every vascular plant taxon in this pristine park documented with herbarium voucher specimens and to supplement these with iNaturalist and Calflora observations. We began with creating an electronic checklist using the Symbiota-based CCH2 Checklist function. A polygon boundary of the park was defined, and all databased herbarium specimens were identified within it based on georeference and key word searches. Considerable cleanup of specimens retrieved from this search was made for specimens with faulty georeferencing and faulty identifications, resulting in an initial set of 337 vouchers. This initial electronic checklist served as the basis for additional collections made over a 2.5 year period, during which a total of 645 additional vouchers of plants not already confidently on the checklist were collected, these deposited at the IRVC herbarium. An iNaturalist project was set up using the same geographic polygon. Research grade observations from the project were linked to the checklist taxa. Some Calflora observations were also linked. Some recent taxonomic literature was linked to online checklist entries, and expert determination was solicited for some difficult specimens for which we had field and herbarium sheet images. In spring 2022, a printed draft Checklist of the park was made and used as a reference for a Botany Blitz at the park, organized through the CNPS Orange County Chapter. Several team leaders led volunteers, who documented all plants in different regions of the park, using iNaturalist. Leaders collected plants that were not yet voucher documented. The checklist was finalized in September 2022, listing a total of 571 species and 582 taxa, all but 39 documented with herbarium vouchers. Of these, 16 have rankings in the CNPS Inventory. A final first edition of the checklist in booklet form was printed in September 2022, with updates and a new edition planned as needed. Using the CCH2 Checklist function was quite successful in creating for this county park a robust vascular plant checklist, maintained in both electronic and printed form and involving professional botanists, members of the public, and the local CNPS chapter.
42.4 Documenting the botanical resources of the Santa Clara River Watershed
David L. Magney (California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA, USA)
The Special Projects Program has been investigating and documenting the botanical resources of the Santa Clara River (Utom in Chumash) watershed since 2017, starting with the vascular plants. The watershed includes much of northern Ventura County and northwestern Los Angeles County and ranges in elevation from 8,831 feet on Mount Pinos to sea level at the mouth of the Santa Clara River between Ventura and Oxnard. The watershed contains over 2,500 vascular plant taxa, making this watershed one of high species richness compared to any other comparable-sized area of California, and higher than many larger areas of the state. The methods used and outcomes will be presented, focusing on lessons learned.
42.5 Floristics Panel
Nina House (California Botanic Garden, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, USA), Ann Howald (CNPS Bristlecone Chapter, Sonoma, CA, USA), David L. Magney (California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA, USA), Brent Mishler (University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA), Michael G. Simpson (Department of Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA)
Despite floristics being a relatively old science, new methods are continuing to be developed that can improve these studies. Here in California, a variety of online resources have changed the way floristic studies are conducted. These include such services as Calflora, Consortium of California Herbaria, and the Jepson eFlora. Additional resources, such as iNaturalist, SEINet, Keybase, various mapping softwares, and so much more are important tools in a floristicians toolkit. During this panel, five California-based botanists will share their own approaches to their floristic inventories, with a focus on the methods and tools that made their projects successful.
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